Heartbreaking twist after Aussie mum dies just days after her birthday

Bec Kovalik went in for surgery on June 9, but never woke back up.

When Rebecca Kovalik entered a NSW hospital on June 9 to undergo her third spinal surgery, no one believed it would be the last time they would see the “warm and bubbly” mother.

Bec, as she’s known to her family and friends, went under the knife to repair nerve damage in her back but “never came off the table,” close friend Ally Skelly told Yahoo News Australia on Friday.

The 34-year-old’s devastated husband Jay, and her family and friends are still not “100 per cent sure” what caused her death as they await the coroner's report.

Mum Rebecca Kovalik with her son Orlando and smiling in a selfie.
Mum Rebecca Kovalik, known to her friends as Bec, died last week while undergoing spinal surgery. Source: Supplied

Complications in the surgery caused her to pass away just eight days after her 34th birthday, her devastated friend revealed.

“Essentially there was something that caused her to bleed and it was just too much and she bled out,” Ms Skelly said, noting that just a week prior the pair had celebrated Bec’s birthday by going out for dinner to a place where their children could play.

“Obviously there are risks with any surgery but at the end of the day you don’t really think that someone’s going to die,” she added.

“You think there’s a possibility of paralysis, you don’t expect death.”

Bec, Jay and their son Orlando in front of the ocean.
Bec and Jay struggled for a 'long time' to conceive Orlando and hoped to try and have another child. Source: GoFundMe

Mum hoped to have more children

In a heartbreaking twist, Bec, who lived with her family in southwest Sydney, had planned on undergoing IVF again to try for a second child following her surgery.

The childhood educator and her husband had struggled “for a long time” to conceive their three-year-old son Orlando, Ms Skelly said. They had one embryo left and were planning on using it when she recovered.

Bec, who also worked as a swim instructor, was a “wonderful” mum and was passionate about children, according to Ms Skelly, who worked at the same early learning centre.

Black and white photos of Bec and her husband Jay.
Bec and Jay had a 'great love', friends say. Source: Supplied

“She loved kids. She had fantastic ideas when it came to activities to do with the kids and Orlando.

“She was just the best. She was a bright, bubbly person who was always willing to crack a joke, normally they were dirty jokes that weren’t appropriate,” she laughed.

Couple had a 'great love'

Relatives and the community are rallying around Jay and Orlando as they process their shock and grief.

“He’s just surviving, he’s just getting by as much as she can,” Ms Skelly said of the heartbroken husband, adding the couple were “so wonderful together”.

Bec seen with her entire family.
Bec's family, Jay's family and the community are now rallying around the grieving husband. Source: Supplied

“They had what you call a great love. A love that everyone would want.”

A GoFundMe page has been created to give Bec the “send off she deserves” and help Jay with medical bills and their mortgage as he tries to process the sudden loss of his wife.

“He and Bec have a wonderful family that have been very supportive of them,” Ms Skelly said.

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